Salem council discusses nuisance properties ? again

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News


SALEM ? It was the same song, fourth verse for the Salem City Council Tuesday evening in its first meeting of the new year.

Nuisance properties again headlined the agenda. Topping the list was Dillon Haynes? property on East Van Buren Street.

Haynes and the council have been at odds for nearly three years over the amount of vehicles in various stages of disrepair located on the property. Last year, Haynes offered to build a partial garage to store the vehicles if the city would promise never to bring nuisance abatement action against him. The council said it couldn?t do that because it would be tying the hands of future councils.

Council members instructed City Attorney Pat Brau to draft a report on the situation.

The city will be seeking an emergency order to acquire a twice fire-damaged house on North Main Street. The city has been attempting to acquire the house for nearly two years. The house will be demolished.

Also subject to demolishment by the city are homes on East Jackson and North Maple streets. The city sent the property owner a letter late last fall, giving him 14 days to clean up the property. However, nothing was done.

The council discussed making the fire department a line item in the budget. If that were to happen, the city would fund the department, similar to the $10,000 in city funds given annually to the library. A final decision will be made at budget time.

Although summer street work still is a number of months into the future, the council accepted quotes from L.L. Pelling for street repair. Pelling will charge $3.55 per square yard for removal and replacement of seal coat, and $2.45 a square yard for placing another layer of seal coat on streets.

Before the council meeting, the oath of office was administered to Mayor Dan Patterson and council members Gary Tedrow, Christina Feehan and Bill Wixom Jr. Patterson and Tedrow were re-elected, and Feehan and Wixom are new council members. Wixom, however, has served on the council recently.

Salem council members will meet again in regular session Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 5:30 p.m. in the community building.